Bogota - Post Report Question and Answers

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One of the best postings out there, by far, but even better if you learn or speak Spanish! - Aug 2023

Colombia has changed greatly in the last ten years. While it has developed its infrastructure and grown its economy, it seems less and less friendly, open-minded, or welcoming. - Jul 2020

Bogota is a place of many contrasts. It can be so beautiful at times, and so alive and friendly. But it can be unfriendly, too. Traffic is difficult on the sidewalks and in the street, and many expats struggle with the "death of a thousand cuts" dynamic. Nothing is worse than standing on a sidewalk on a Friday night in pouring rain watching (literally) a hundred cabs go by without one stopping for you. So come here with a healthy sense that while many things will go well, others will not. - May 2013

Bogota is a wonderfully modern place with all the creature comforts. But like any big city, it can be isolating. Be sure to come ready to go out and make new friends. The Colombians are great and if you open yourself to them, you will have a wonderful time. - Dec 2011

As with any place, it is what you make of it! Here you have the freedom and resources to have a great time if you can get past the rain. - Jul 2011

Bogota can be nice but some people, but it depends what do you want for your kids. If you want active kids, running, breathing fresh air, playing outdoors, this is not the place. If you don't mind your kid being all day long at home with the nanny -- or even with you (if you don't drive yourself crazy) it is OK. The kids can't be outdoors because of the weather, so forget about your kid riding his bicycle or running outside with his friends. Here they can't do that. - Nov 2010

If you have a family, think long and hard before coming here. The city is dreary, there is not much to do. Everything is far... and commutes are long. If you are not used to living in an apartment, it can be a big adjustment (no yard, etc.). Schools here are not good. Overall, I have been highly disappointed, and as was said in the previous posting, there are a lot of days when, quite honestly, I feel like a prisoner here. - Sep 2010

The poor travel/tourist infrastructure in most of the country keeps Colombia locked away from most people at Post. At times I felt like a prisoner here. - Aug 2010

I don't know anyone who wants to live here because of the weather or to save money. If you like to be outdoors and in sunny places, this is not your place. It is a nice place for kids, but very young kids get sick all the time, and the preschool and extra activities are very expensive. The embassy is full of locals who manage everything and are not very gentle, and who are not eager to help you. It is more the opposite! They don't provide you with enough information and help, maybe because of the size. It is a really big embassy. - Jun 2010

It is a nice post, but kind of lonely because of the large city situation. You get tired of traffic, pollution and watching your back from crime. But all large cities have a degree of all of these things. - Jan 2010

Bogota is a very walkable city with a million parks. - Sep 2009

The Embassy here is terrible and doesn't seem to care about making life better for families. Most people say it's the worst embassy management team that they've experienced - the CLO office provides no good information at all, GSO is terrible with maintenance issues (don't expect anything to be fixed on time or at all - it takes 6 weeks for someone to come to fix an electrical or plumbing issue). The embassy housing pool is getting worse -- people that have come in during the last 6 months have gotten some of the worst apartments available in the city -- and they all have maintenance issues that are not getting fixed. The embassy furniture is old and badly damaged and hasn't been replaced in many years. - Dec 2008

Life is very hard here, I wish we knew more before coming here. There is a lots of smog, rain, the traffic is horrible. We have been here 5 months and are still struggling with the altitude, you don't get much quality sleep here, getting up in the morning is so hard, especially for the children who must be up at 5:30 am to get ready for school. So before you think you want to come here, please do your research. Good luck. - Nov 2008

We generally like it here. Great food, great things to do (when it's not raining) and great housing. The biggest difference in hating Bogota and loving it is finding that one friend who can show you how to get out of the city. Just remember that Bogota is like any big city, NY, DC, PA, as long as you're aware of your surroundings, it's not as bad as you've heard. - May 2008

The threat of terrorism on behalf of the FARC, the Narcos and other armed groups is very real. You must follow the security officer's instructions to keep out of harm's way. The security situation has been better during the current administration but there is talk of it deteriorating soon. Just keep a heightened awareness and you will be fine. - Apr 2008

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